BJP Govt well-prepared only during elections. Goans left stranded during pandemics and cyclones: AAP

Aam Aadmi Party has lambasted the BJP Govt for not completing important cyclone risk mitigation works on time, despite having a budget of hundreds of crores with aid from the World Bank. Stating that a similar apathy on the issue of oxygen supply and covid preparedness has cost hundreds of Goans their lives, AAP leader Capt. Venzy Viegas questioned whether CM Sawant would also act on cyclone protection measures only after hundreds of Goans die?

Capt. Viegas, who has been tracking the storm for the past few days, said that Goa today came dangerously close to being in the eye of the cyclone Tauktae, and only a last-minute change in the predicted track of the cyclone saved the state from large-scale destruction. Capt. Viegas recalled that in July 2015, Goa was included with other coastal states in the National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Programme having a budget of Rs 2361.35 crore. But over the years despite Goa Govt’s various announcements, laying of foundation stones and other photo-ops, Capt. Viegas stated that Goa remains woefully unprepared for a major cyclonic event like today’s.

“Projects such as cyclone shelters, saline embarkments etc were proposed as part of the programme, but none have yet seen the light of day. Even as of Oct 2020, CM Sawant had announced that 12 Multi-Purpose Cyclone Shelter (MPCS) projects are coming up in various places in Goa, and he even claimed that 50-80% work is already completed, however no one has yet seen or heard of these shelters”, Capt. Viegas said.

Capt. Viegas added that had such shelters been completed on time, they could even served as temporary covid isolation facilities when not used for cyclone protection.

Referring to reports of widespread destruction along the coast, Capt. Viegas lamented that Goa’s poor disaster preparedness was exposed yet again, with major power outages and flooding witnessed across the state. Viegas accused the BJP Govt of being proactive & well-prepared only for elections or at the time of buying MLAs, and that they are not interested in governance or saving lives until Goa gets adverse media coverage in the national and international press.